Robotic system gives new insights into brain injury
Nov. 8, 2019
KINGSTON, ON – The worlds first interactive robotic system for measuring brain function will be demonstrated for the first time at the international medical trade fair, MEDICA, November 18-21, 2019 in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is 20 years since Queens University neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Scott showed how using a robotic mechanism to measure arm movements could provide an unprecedented window on brain function. His resulting invention, Kinarm™, is the worlds first interactive robotic system for measuring, with exquisite sensitivity and precision, the effects of a wide range of injuries and diseases on human behaviour.
“Clinicians have their tests for specific conditions. Neurologists look at a stroke patients movement problems, but not their thinking; neuropsychologists look at thinking, but not their motor function. Neither are looking at the whole picture. We designed Kinarm to gather all information – motor, cognitive, sensory – the building blocks for brain function that allow people to interact with the world. Were now taking what weve learned with the Kinarm and applying it to every disease we can find.”
- Stephen Scott, neuroscientist, Queens University at Kingston, and inventor, Kinarm
Initially used to assess the effects of stroke, today Kinarm is shedding light on the brain effects of more than 20 different diseases and conditions, from autism, ADHD and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder to Alzheimers, epilepsy, MS, traumatic brain injury, concussion, chronic pain, kidney dialysis and invasive surgeries such as cardiac bypass and shoulder replacement. It is also helping research scientists answer basic questions about sensory, motor and cognitive brain function.
Patients sit or stand at the Kinarm, performing a series of tasks over a one-hour session. Within a few minutes, the Kinarm generates standardized reports that compare the patients performance to healthy controls. (Traditional neurological testing can take many hours or days and tests are subjective, such as touching a finger to your nose or catching a ball.)
Almost 100 research labs worldwide are using Kinarm to explore how the brain works, including Johns Hopkins University, University College London (U.K.) and Keio University (Japan). In Kingston, Ontario, Kinarms are onsite at all three of its hospitals, where they are used in patient research. In 2018 alone, more than 1,000 assessments of research subjects were done using Kinarm.
Research using Kinarm has generated more than 275 basic and clinical research publications. These discoveries are leading to better understanding and diagnosis of brain impairments and new approaches to treatment and rehabilitation.
President & CEO, Kinarm
Hall 16, M37, Stall 5
Exhibitor Data Sheet